Despite the completely false claims by British newspapers today, a British woman was not poisoned by the marijuana she smoked.
News out of the U.K. today of 31-year-old Gemma Moss is straight out of the pages of the early 1900s American Reefer Madness. According to the (shady) reports, Moss collapsed after having a joint and nobody is sure why - so the coroner decided to chalk it up to "cannabis toxicity" and "cannabis abuse." Apparently the coroner has never actually been to medical school, because cannabis isn't toxic.
And this belief in cannabis poisoning seems to be widespread across the pond.
"I looked through literature and it's well known that cannabis is of very low toxicity," Dr. Kudair Hussein, the coroner, said in a report to the local government about the issue. "But there are reports which say cannabis can be considered as a cause of death because it can induce a cardiac arrest."
The woman - which reports never seem to fail to mention was a 'devout' Christian - had allegedly smoked pot regularly in the past and never once died. She started back up in the past week after breaking up with her boyfriend and struggling to get to sleep at night, but apparently saw no ill effects in the week leading up to her death according to a friend.
But now, suddenly, after a two-year break from ganja she's keeling over from a half of a joint? What is the British media smoking?
It must be something strong enough to overlook the fact that the woman allegedly was on several prescription drugs for depression and had apparently stopped taking them recently. It's not like prescription drugs can mess with your heart or anything like that. Oh, wait, that's right: they can and do.
But the media (and the coroner) seem to be basing their story on the fact that cannabis does have an effect on your circulatory system and can increase your heart rate. That's not exactly poisoning, however, and produces the same symptoms as getting up and briskly walking to your mailbox or taking certain over-the-counter prescription drugs. Either way: if your ticker is that weak then you're going to die of a heart attack whether you smoked cannabis or not.
What they are completely ignoring is the anecdotal evidence right in front of them: there's millions of cannabis users around the world and we're not dropping dead like flies from heart attacks.
But the UK seemingly loves to blame pot for things it has nothing to do with. The government has officially listed five deaths that were "caused" by marijuana in the mid-1990s. It was later revealed that all of those deaths were actually caused by the deceased choking on their own vomit.